Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Crime and Punishment (1935)

Rikos ja rangaistus / Brott och straff. US © 1935 Columbia Pictures Corp. A B. P. Schulberg Production. D: Josef von Sternberg; SC: S. K. Lauren; Joseph Anthony - based on the novel by F. M. Dostoevsky (1866). DP: Lucien Ballard; AD: Stephen Goosson; ED: Richard Cahoon; COST: Murray Mayer; M Director: Louis Silvers; CAST: Peter Lorre [(Roderick Raskolnikov)], Edward Arnold [(Inspector Porfiry)], Marian Marsh [(Sonya)], Tala Birrell [(Antonia "Toni" Raskolnikov)], Elisabeth Risdon [(Mrs. Raskolnikov)], Robert Allen [(Dmitri)], Douglass Dumbrille [(Grilov)], Gene Lockhart [(Mr. Lushin)]. 88 min. A print from Cinemateket / Svenska Filminstitutet. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 13 Oct 2009. - A fine and complete print. - Revisited a rare Sternberg film that I had seen only once before, in 1972 on tv. The film apparently has not been screened in Finland since. - Reputedly one of the few unpersonal Sternberg films, one of the few films he did without autonomy. - A low budget production, but the budget is not the problem. The interpretation is too simplified and obvious, but it is worth seeing now and then. - Although an opening title announces that this story can take place anywhere, certain details (newspapers with cyrillic letters etc.) show that it happens in Russia. - At the time of filming, the "superman" idea was valid in Germany.

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